SWEET DELIGHTS FROM THE PAST

Bread and Butter Days
by Trisha Faye

SWEET DELIGHTS FROM THE PAST

Grandma and Grandpa

Bea and Casey Jones

I’m sitting here finishing up one of my all-time-favorite sandwiches, pear honey, like my Grandma used to make me. In her honor, this weeks’ Bread and Butter Days column shares a few of her recipes from the 1940’s. Here’s a few oldies, but goodies, compliments of grandma, Bea Jones.

Marshmallow Delight
This recipe is handwritten in Grandma Jones’ cookbook. Most of the family, including Bea’s children and her grandchildren, remember this recipe fondly. Bea served this dessert for many years, including taking it to potlucks at the stone church in Glendora. The three Jones sisters, Iona, Helen and Ida, will vouch for how long this dessert has been around, since most likely one of the girls was in the kitchen making it.

30 marshmallows
1 large cup pineapple
14 graham crackers, crushed fine
1 cup milk
½ pint all-purpose cream (Cool Whip works fine for a more modern version)

Directions:
Dissolve marshmallows in milk in double boiler. Set aside to cool. Roll graham crackers until crushed fine. Put ½ of the crushed graham crackers in the bottom of a flat bottom pan. Drain pineapple and add to marshmallow mixture. Whip cream with mixer until whipped cream (or use Cool Whip) and fold into marshmallow mixture. Spoon mixture onto crackers and sprinkle remaining graham cracker crumbs on top. Place in refrigerator about 8 hours to chill.

Grandma wrote on a recipe card for me years later that she also used peaches and fruit cocktail instead of the pineapple.

The stone church in Glendora, CA, where these dishes have been served many times. Formerly an Independent Brethren Church, it's now Cornerstone.

The stone church in Glendora, CA, where these dishes have been served many times. Formerly an Independent Brethren Church, it’s now Cornerstone Bible Church.

Aunt Melba’s Lemon Cake
Aunt Melba Goss (Grandma Jones’ sister-in-law – she married Grandma’s brother, Sam Goss.) submitted this recipe for a Family Secrets Cookbook many years ago. This recipe is a favorite of several of her nieces and nephews.

1 lemon cake mix
1 cup water
½ cup oil
1 pkg. Lemon jello
4 eggs

Combine above ingredients and beat about 2 minutes. Pour into greased and floured 9 x 13 pan. Bake at 350 degrees about 30 minutes. Top with glaze.

Glaze: 2 lemons, grate rind and juice them. Add to 2 cups powdered sugar and bring to a boil. Prick hot cake with fork. Pour glaze over top. Serve from pan.

Pear Honey
Out of all the recipes and memories of Grandma, this one is my favorite. Pear Honey’s name throws most people off. It’s not a honey, but more like a pear jam. Maybe it’s so sweet and delicious that that’s how it got its name. I remember Grandma making this when I was little. When she moved back to California, after Grandpa died, she gave me the recipe. I have shared many jars of this nectar with the people in my life – when I’m not being stingy and keeping it all for myself.

6 pears
2 apples
1 orange
1 small can crushed pineapple
3 ½ cups sugar

Directions:
Pare six pears and two apples. Remove seeds and peel.
Peel one orange.
Grind all together.
Add one can of crushed pineapple.
Add 3 ½ cups sugar.
Cook until thick. Seal in jars.

Unless you want to make some hot biscuits, then it may not last long enough to can.

Note: In a pinch, when you MUST make Pear Honey, but pears aren’t in season, a large can of pear halves works just as well.

And now a days I don’t preserve in canning jars. Now, in a more modern tradition, I usually put up in the freezer in several small containers and pull out one at a time as needed.

The good ‘ole days. It’s like creating our own little recipe. Take a large helping of history, add a splash of our own creative mix, and serve with a helping of memories and love.

What’s your favorite recipe from the past? One that touches your heart and reminds you of your loved ones?

Do you have any stories about ‘the good ole days’ that you’d like to share? Contact Trisha Faye at texastrishafaye@yahoo.com

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LUNCH BOXES … BEFORE

Bread and Butter Days
by Trisha Faye

LUNCH BOXES … BEFORE

It’s September and a mother’s dilemma continues on, as it has for many years before. What to send for lunch?

School cafeteria lunches are one popular option. While not the cheapest way to go, it’s the easiest. And after many years of fighting the nutrition debate, offerings in the lunchroom have seemed to gain at least a little ground in the nutritious-or-not warfare.

BBD_metropolitan life cookbookPerusing through a vintage Metropolitan Cook Book, the following section on ‘The Lunch Box’ amused me. Published by the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, this edition is most probably from the 1930’s or 1940’s. (No publication date. The style is consistent with the era between the 1925 and 1948 issues.)

THE LUNCH BOX

The lunch carried from home requires thought in planning so that it will be satisfying, nutritious and appetizing. The container used plays a large part in keeping the lunch in good condition.

The lunch box should be dust-proof, well ventilated and easily washed. Metal boxes have these advantages, and when collapsible they are easy to carry home. Some are arranged in compartments and are equipped with thermos bottles.

Baskets are not easily cleaned and unless the food is well wrapped, it dries out quickly.

Fibre boxes are cheap, but they are absorbent and therefore hard to keep clean.

Wax paper, paper napkins, paper plates and containers, paper or collapsible metal cups, thermos bottles and sealtight jars all aid in preparing lunches.

The container should be lined with a paper napkin and each article wrapped separately in waxed paper, and placed in the order in which the food will be eaten. Articles should be packed compactly so that the food cannot be shaken about.

BBD_old lunchpailThe lunch box menu should be planned to include a substantial food, a juicy fruit or vegetable, a simple dessert and a beverage.

Sandwiches, which are usually included, should be made from day-old bread, which may be graham, whole wheat, rye, rolls or white bread.

In cutting the bread, arrange the slices so that they will fit together.

Cream the butter or butter substitute until soft enough to spread easily. The butter tends to prevent a soft filling from making the bread soggy.

I chuckled when I read the part about packing the lunch ‘compactly so that the food cannot be shaken about.’ I thought of the many (many!) lunches my brother, sister and I ferried to school each day in a brown paper sack. Tossed around, stuffed in backpacks, into lockers and generally treated with disdain, by lunchtime we often couldn’t recognize the smushed offering that left home as a sandwich.

And have you eaten a sandwich wrapped in waxed paper only? Oh my! What an improvement in lunches now – with all the zip lock sandwich baggies, in a multitude of sizes no less. No more dried-out-seen-better-moments sandwiches.

And the lunch boxes and bags there are to choose from in today’s world! No more fibre boxes, sealtight jars and metal lunch pails. There’s such a selection of insulated bags in a variety of sizes, colors, and sizes that it can make your head spin. There’s even individual frozen icy packs to keep things cold.

The cook book also suggested several ideas for sandwich fillings.

Dried beef, plain or frizzled.

Slices of beef, ham, chicken, lamb, sprinkled with salt or spread with a little salad dressing.

Sardines, minced, with lemon juice added.

Add India relish to well-seasoned fresh cottage cheese.

Yes, there were also conventional suggestions, more in line with today’s palate. You know, all of a sudden, a non-nonsense bologna sandwich – or even an ordinary PB & J – doesn’t sound so bad after all.

I’m off to the kitchen. I hear a bologna and cheese sandwich in there calling my name. Now … my dilemma for the day … catsup or mustard?

Do you have any stories about ‘the good ole days’ that you’d like to share? Contact Trisha Faye at texastrishafaye@yahoo.com

LIGHTING THE WAY

Bread and Butter Days
by Trisha Faye

LIGHTING THE WAY

My favorite source for stories from the “good ‘ole days”, Iona Mae Burk, shared a childhood memory. She is the eldest of six children. Hence, most of her childhood years revolved around taking care of her younger brothers and sisters.

She remembered a time when she wasn’t quite 6 years-old. Supper was over and everyone was sitting around the table in the kitchen. Iona, called Mae by her family, had to go give her younger sister a bottle. Ida Pearl lay in the crib in the front room, which was dark.

Mae was scared. She didn’t want to go into the dark front room. She pleaded for a kerosene lamp to take with her. “Ida needs it to be able to see,” she pleaded. To no avail. Her mother, Bea Jones, didn’t fall for it. Mae had to go in the dark room and hold the bottle through the slats without the light of a kerosene lamp.

My first thought when I heard the story was ‘Why didn’t you flip on the light switch?’ Electricity existed, even back in these days of 1942. But not for much of rural America, or for the Jones’ living in a Missouri farm house. How spoiled we are in today’s world. Except for the occasional electrical outage, few know what it’s like to live without electricity.

Here’s some fun tidbits about kerosene, taken from an old newspaper clipping.

Uses For Kerosene:

BBD_kerosene lampA white flannel cloth or piece of white knit underwear dampened with kerosene will clean any porcelain or metal bathtub. Dry the tub first and then rub lightly with the kerosene cloth. Every vestige of foreign matter will disappear and an instant’s brisk rub with a dry flannel will complete the task. A porcelain tub can be kept as new by this statement.

Kerosene will cut the accumulated grease from the drain pipe of a sink and will keep the sink itself perfectly sweet and clean. Kerosene cuts all grease and fats generally; axle grease disappears before it and tar softens and fades away. It is so volatile that, if put in dry heat it will quickly evaporate and leave no stain on the fabric upon which it has been used.

As a bleacher kerosene stands high. Put half a teacupful into a washtub of water and then proceed with the washing after the usual method. The clothes will be whiter, sweeter and hygienically much cleaner than they can be got without the use of oil, for kerosene is a disinfectant. It kills all inevitable life, so that many kinds of germs are utterly destroyed by its use.

Last and most important, kerosene figures as a household remedy. To quote the woman from those experience of kerosene the above facts have been drawn:

“I have saved my eldest boy twice by the use of kerosene. The first time it was out on a ranch in Kansas. He had a fearful attack of membraneous croup. His father was racing over the prairie for a doctor, who could not be got in time. I watched for the boy’s death at every convulsive struggle for breathe, when into my mind rushed a saying of my old nurse.”

‘We always killed the croup with kerosene’. I had a horror of her advice in my childhood, but then I blessed her as I seized my lamp, blew out the flame and succeeded in forcing some of the oil into the child’s mouth. In ten minutes the hardness of the phlegm was gone and the child saved.

“Once again I used it with none but good effect; and, while in all cases where I could have medical aid I should prefer to rely upon my doctor, still I feel that, armed with kerosene, I am equipped to aid an afflicted child.”

Now I’m the last one that would discount folk remedies. I often use many of the old-time passed-down-through-generations medical advice over prescriptions and office visits that are often out of my budget. But I think I’ll pass on this one. I’ll keep kerosene on my ‘nostalgic’ list. And, should I ever come down with membraneous croup, I’ll be heading to the closest doctor – as I flip off my electric light on my way out the door.

— Do you have any stories about ‘the good ole days’ that you’d like to share? Contact Trisha Faye at texastrishafaye@yahoo.com